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The Hot Topic of Smoking

Written by: Rita

I love controversial topics, so I thought a post on this subject might get people talking.  How do you feel about smoking on your favorite cruise ship?

I will be honest, I am a smoker, but it seems more and more cruise lines are not too friendly to us smokers these days.  The areas you can smoke in are becoming less and less.  I remember when I boarded Holland America’s Veendam for a TransAtlantic cruise from Tampa to Venice back in April of 2007.  Without any prior warning, beginning with our cruise Holland America had tightened up their smoking policy.  They removed all of the ashtrays from the tables in the small section of the outside Lido deck, where smoking had previously been allowed.  They also started a rotation policy in the casino of smoking and smoke-free nights.  There were a “hard core” group of smokers on that sailing who were pretty much up in arms about the changes … especially since Holland America offered no advance warning before implementing them.  In fact, on the cruise right before this no such restrictions were in force.  A friend who had been onboard the previous sailing told me that stewards began removing the ashtrays from the tables on the Lido while she and her husband sat there having a cigarette before disembarking.

Of course, to be fair, I have to say that the upset smokers were clearly in the minority.  There were plenty of passengers onboard who were absolutely thrilled with the changes.

Lately, HAL has been distributing a survey to all guests asking smoking-related questions.  Would you continue to sail Holland America if smoking were prohibited in most venues?  Would you continue to sail the line if smoking were totally prohibited?  … questions of that nature.  Supposedly this survey will go on for a year, after which time decisions will be made based on the results.  My feeling, and those of most other smokers I’ve talked to is that smoking will probably be greatly restricted, if not altogether eliminated at that time.

How do you feel about this?  Does the smoking onboard the ships you sail bother you?

I’ve heard many people complain about balcony smokers.  I would imagine that a good number of the people who opt for a balcony stateroom do so because one member of the party smokes, while the others do not.  The balcony provides a place for them to indulge their “vice” without bothering the other people in the stateroom.  Yet, when they light up on their balcony, they risk bothering other people who want to enjoy their own balconies without being exposed to second-hand smoke.  This problem becomes even worse in the case of pipe or cigar smokers.

Carnival at one time had a smoke-free ship, the Paradise.  I’ve heard conflicting reports about its demise.  Some say that the ship was very profitable and sailed full just about every week.  Others say the ship reverted back to normal smoking policies after it kept losing money week after week in onboard revenue.  Supposedly the take from the bars and lounges, as well as the casino, was dismal.  Supposedly non-smokers simply don’t drink and gamble as much as smokers do.  Other people, however, claimed that the only reason Carnival removed the Paradise’s smoke-free designation was because the second Carnival ship that was doing regular Caribbean sailings was relocated elsewhere.  Since the Paradise was to be the only Carnival ship left in the Caribbean, the cruise line executives felt that they would lose too many of those Caribbean passengers to other cruise lines if they kept the Paradise sailing as a smoke-free ship.

Of course, the days of the smoke-free Carnival Paradise were pretty long ago.  So, what about today?  Do you think a totally smoke-free ship could be profitable?  Or how about this one — would you actually be willing to pay more for your cruise if you could sail on a totally smoke-free ship?  Some of the cruise lines state that the simple reason they have refused to go entirely smoke-free is that the impact on onboard revenue would be too great on such a ship.  I actually had one hotel manager tell me that his predecessor had made the bar area smoke-free in a couple of the lounges, and when he took over and saw the major decline in drink sales in those bars, he immediately switched them back to smoking venues.  He claimed that it’s a simple fact in the industry that smokers tend to drink more.  So, it would seem, at least to me, that if a ship was going to go either smoke-free, or at least highly restricted, they would have to demand a higher price in order to compensate for lost revenues.  Would you be willing to forego cheaper cruises on other ships in order to sail a smoke-free one?

And, how about you smokers?  Would you stop sailing a cruise line if they greatly restricted the areas onboard where you could light up?  I heard via various message boards that Regent Seven Seas’ passengers were pretty hot when that luxury line eliminated smoking in the cabins and on balconies.   Would you sail, for example, the ships of Azamara, Disney or Oceania – some of the most restrictive lines in terms of smoking?

If your cruise line told you that you could no longer smoke in your cabin or on your balcony, would you cancel your bookings with them?  Or how about the casino or the bars?  Would you frequent those venues if you couldn’t smoke?

Let us know what you think about this highly “inflammatory” issue.

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Comments

Comment from beentravelin
Time February 9, 2009 at 9:18 am

I too am a smoker. I would not stop cruising a specific line if they restricted smoking. So long as they had at least one spot onboard to go smoke. I probably would not cruise with them if they completely eliminated smoking. I understand that this is a vice and I don’t want to subject others to my dirty habit. I always try to be mindful of non-smokers.

Besides maybe it would help me quit!

Comment from Sue
Time February 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I pray for the day that everything goes smoke free. It is a dirty filthy habit that us non-smokers should not be subject to ever. There is no such thing as a mindful smoker in my opinion. The only smoking areas should be an enclosed room somewhere in the belly of the ship. We have gotten a balcony room on our last 5 cruises only to be gaged by a person smoking above, below or next to us. I do not feel I should have to pay extra to enjoy a smoke free cruise. And FYI there were 3 smokers in my family. All 3 have died way before their time due to smoking. This is why I have such strong feelings against smoking.

Comment from Ashley
Time February 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I am a smoker. I would not sail on a cruise where you could not smoke anywhere on the ship. For those non-smokers reading this, you may be wondering “Can’t they just wait until the get to a port and go on land and smoke?” Waiting that long to smoke a cigarette could throw some hardcore smokers into serious withdrawals and bring down the experience of their vacation.

Comment from Fireba11
Time February 10, 2009 at 4:26 am

I would not sail on any line that had a total non-smoking policy. As a matter of fact, if they keep getting tighter, like they are, I might stop cruising altogether.

I believe the cruise lines should put all the smokers on one side of the ship and all the non-smokers in the cabins on the other side of the ship, this would create better harmony. A couple of the night clubs should be smoke free but not all of them. Rotating smoking and non-smoking in the casino is a great idea.

We smokers are willing to give a little so long as non-smokers will give a little. The sad thing is that most non-smokers don’t want to give at all, it’s there way of the hiway buddy and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Comment from Trisha
Time February 10, 2009 at 6:21 am

I too am a smoker and would quit cruising if they were to eliminate smoking completely.
Rita, I don ‘t think more smokers drink, I think more drinkers smoke while they are drinking (g).
I will anxiously be awaiting to hear what HAL is planning to do in the near future about their pax with a “habit”.

Comment from Craig
Time February 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm

My wife and I have already cut back on sailing with RCI because we find their policies overly restrictive. The fact of the matter is that cruise lines have never been very successful with going non-smoking in the past. Try RCI’s “smoke free” nights in the casino… its a joke as there are open seats at EVERY table.

As for the comments from Sue… I can assure you that smokers are just as annoyed and disgusted by people like you as you are with them. Clearly, from your attitude, your are just an angry person who feels everything around them should be just as perfect as they like. Life doesn’t work that way. If I have to sit on a pool deck and listen to someone’s bratty children, or be driven into a headache by some whiner going on and on about disgusting smokers are, or how bad the lobster was last night, or how the boat is rocking too much… then you have to put up with me too!

I don’t expect everything in my life to be exactly to my liking… anyone who does is just a fool who will go through life always disappointed.

However, the suggestion of a smoking “side” of the ship makes perfect sense or have a few decks smoking and few decks not or something. What a great idea for a compromise!

Either way RCI has lost my business (possibly for good). NCL is working out just fine for me!

Comment from Marilyn
Time February 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I too am a smoker. I try to be as considerate as possible to the non-smokers (contraray to what some other posters, ie. Sue have to say) although it’s hard sometimes when they continue to sit in the smoking section and sit there the whole time coughing, waving hand in front of face and making snide remarks (sound familiar sue?).
As to the original question, I would definetly NOT cruise with a ship that’s non-smoking. I feel that it’s very discriminating and when I pay the same amount of money as anyone else and should have the same rights.
How about drinkers? I drink an occasional glass of wine, that’s about it. Last summer on the Carnival Freedom on a Mediterranean cruise, my husband & I loved the outdoor theatre. We tried to go every night. The only problem…it was right by the bars, we could not even hear the movies because of the loud drunks, tried complaining but no results. If you ask me, they bothered alot more people than I did by smoking.
I know we’ll probably never come to any type of agreements between smokers and non but I do try to be a courteous as possible so as not to bother anyone unneccesarily.
And yes, smokers on one side and non on the others would be a great idea.

Comment from Rita
Time February 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Wow! I’m glad to see such a wonderful amount of feedback on this somewhat controversial subject. I’m gonna email HAL right now and see if I can get some answers about any upcoming plans they may have to change their smoking policies. I do hear that changes are definitely “in the wind.” Stay tuned.

Comment from george
Time February 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm

gave up smoking 45 years ago and like all ex-smokers, cannot stand to be around smokers. After 12 cruises, i’ve given up cruising since non-smoking renaissance cruises and carnival paradise are no more.

Comment from showcat
Time February 10, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I pray for the day cruise ships are smoke free. This is a very personal thing for me. I worked in bars for years breathing other people filth. I got pnumonia and almost died, I had to use a nebulizer to breathe, I never ever take my lungs for granted. I have watched 2 people die of lung cancer. It’s a horrible death. No one should smoke. I am an ex smoker who quit 21 years ago btw! Never looked back, never used a patch or gum, just made the choice to stop and did. If I did it so can the rest of you. Stop harming other people with your second hand pollution! Also remember the fire started on the Princess ship due to someone throwing a lit cigarette off the balcony! Burned a huge hole in the side of the ship. Very dangerous indeed. Cigarettes are one thing to make matters worse I’ve ran across cigar smokers on deck, disgusting. Cigar smoke causes some kind of strange allergic reaction my eyes puff up like a frog, it’s not a figment of my imagination eather.

Comment from Jason
Time February 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I am a smoker and would not sail on a non- smoking ship. However, I sailed RCCL in October and had no problem with their smoking policy. As long as some bars and lounges along with certain tables at the casino allow smoking I’m OK with making other areas non- smoking. I look at it the same way as bars & restaurants, at least in Georgia, the ones that don’t allow minors in are smoking and the ones that do are non- smoking. I choose to go to the bars & restaurants that allow smoking which is what I would do on a cruise ship that limits smoking or does not allow it in certain lounges. The cruise lines will find that if they stop allowing smoking they will see a large drop in customers and reduced revenue. Just like when Georgia band smoking in restaurants and bars in Georgia did. I know several restaurant/ bars that use to cater to families quit allowing kids in so they could go back to allowing smoking because they lost so much business when forced to go non- smoking.

Comment from Sherri
Time February 11, 2009 at 7:54 am

I am a nonsmoker. Always have been. Both my parents smoked so I have most likely been exposed to enough smoke to last a lifetime but I also enjoyed going to bars with live music when I was younger so again more exposure. Here is my side. I am an RN just so you know my background. I won’t lecture on what I have seen in my professional life due to smoking. You probably already know where I am coming from. But if you have a habit or addiction (which is what smoking is) that does not impact me or my health that is your business. However if it impacts me then why should I have to put up with it. I have been places where I could not even breath due to someone smoking nearby. Not only is that extremely irritating but unheathly for me. Lets face it, there is no way to totally get rid of the smoke on an enclosed area such as a ship. I for one am exremely glad they are limiting it such as I was when they restricted smoking in public places. I remember when smoking was allowed on planes…..yuk.

Comment from Dennis
Time February 11, 2009 at 9:18 am

As a non smoker with a partner who smokes, we will not sail any ship with total indoor smoking ban or even with a cabin smoking ban. Our last cruise 2 months ago was with Fred Olsen who have just introduced a total indoor ban. It will be interesting to see what this does to their bar takings as we found the smoking bar on our last cruise was always packed where as the non smoking bar was always nearly empty with most people appearing to be only drinking free coffee! As for people who complain about the health issues of second hand smoke, hope they don’t drive as their exhaust fumes probably do far more damage to other peoples health than second hand smoke.

Comment from Diane
Time February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I am a non smoker with a partner that smokes and I did cancel a cruise on the Mariner last October and switched to the Crown because of the change in Rccl policy. I had three balcony rooms booked for our family and we are Diamond status with Royal, I just did not want to spend my whole vacation following my spouse around looking for a place to smoke. I have to say out of over 20 cruises I don’t believe I have seen any inconsiderate smokers as most are aware that there are certain places they are allowed to smoke. I have however seen people save chairs by the pool all day and never use them.

Comment from Tammy
Time February 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm

It seems like there will never be a way to make everyone happy. You can’t go around carrying a knife and killing people so why should people be able to light up beside me and have the smoke kill me? BUT at the same time, we do live in a free country where we get to choose how we live. And if someone wants to shorten their lives and smoke, let them as long as they keep it away from non smokers. I have been on Canival and RCCL and they both have smoking on one side and non on the other. That works for me. I just have to remember to stay off of that side of the ship. These smokers are people, people with feelings and I have told smokers before that I am allergic and they always put it out when we are hanging out together.. The only thing I hated is that the casino was always smoking and I never was able to go in so I would be thrilled if they had a non smoking night or two out of seven.

Comment from Donna
Time February 11, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Being a smoker I would never even consider cruising on a totally smoke free vessel. Despite what some people think, I do attempt to be “mindful” of non-smokers. The smokers seem willing to compromise, while the non and ex-smokers want vacation on their terms. Personally, I find the excessive use of perfumes and colognes to be equally offensive and unhealthy for asthma and allergy suffers. Are they equally as “mindful” to others? How about those who get so drunk on a cruise that they become rude, loud, and obnoxious? I think it’s all about compromise. Why are the smoker’s always the bad guys? Most, if not all of us, are willing to compromise. But we are not willing to totally give up our comfort on vacation for the sake of yours.

Comment from Rita
Time February 11, 2009 at 8:00 pm

I am still waiting for a response from Holland America, so don’t worry … I haven’t forgotten my promise to get an update on their current smoking policy.

I am glad we’re getting a lot of response on this subject here on the blog. It shows that we all have strong opinions on this subject and are willing to express them … and that’s a good thing. That’s what I want this blog to be all about.

Comment from Rita
Time February 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Diane,

Your comment about having to follow your spouse around looking for a place to smoke on RCI got me thinking about a recent ship visit I made to the Freedom of the Seas a couple of weeks ago. I took the tour of that ship as part of a travel agent group and I have never in my life found it more difficult to find a place that I could duck into in order to grab a quick smoke. I’m not an expert on RCI ships … just learning about them … but am I correct in thinking that they have very few smoking areas?

When I toured the Emerald Princess a couple of days prior to this, it seemed that there were several venues onboard where smoking was allowed and I had no trouble grabbing a quick smoke before lunch. But on RCI it was far different.

Also, we toured some of the staterooms on the Freedom of the Seas and a few of them were what they called “atrium view” staterooms. I don’t know, but wouldn’t those staterooms tend to be quite noisy? I know the glass is thick, but I would imagine you could get quite a crowd in that atrium … especially with all of the venues located there … and I would also assume that it would be crowded there well into the wee hours of the morning. Wouldn’t those staterooms make it quite difficult to sleep … unless you too were a night owl who didn’t retire until the wee hours of the morning?

I came away from that Freedom of the Seas tour figuring that the mega ships of RCI just wouldn’t be the thing for me … or am I missing something?

Comment from Margaret
Time February 11, 2009 at 8:31 pm

I am a smoker and took first cruise ever, single WF, over this past Thanksgiving on Princess with non-smoker cabin mate i found via Cruisemates.com. Things worked out fine. Presently looking at Alaska, Panama Canal & Northern Europe cruises – would not consider cruising on smoke-free ships/lines.
On the “Sapphire Princess” smoking was limited to some lounges and Decks 13, 14, portside. And whatever you may call it, dirty habit, addiction – maybe because of it, it created an immediate bond and met some really nice people quickly in the smoking sections.
Sherri mentioned smoking on planes and “Yik”. I recall fondly the days of trans-atlantic flights when smoking was allowed and smoking sections being less crowded on planes. Ultimately, to get more space, non-smokers drifted into the smoking section to get more room and the smoke didn’t bother them then! Was most bothered by people flying “stand-by” on US flights, being placed in smoker sections and then waving their hands.
Same in Mexico and some European countries – non-smokers raving about their vacations, sitting there in these countries/their restaurants, but being hippocrates back here in US.
Think having one side of the ship smoke-friendly and one side smoke-free would be a great idea.

Comment from Sharon
Time February 12, 2009 at 10:40 am

I will not cruise on any ship that does not have comfortable areas for passengers who enjoy smoking. I am booked on the Veendam on March 8 and may have to cancel if I find out they have changed their policy. I will never sail on a non-smoking ship. Those that wish to can book with Celebrity.

Comment from Bob
Time February 12, 2009 at 10:40 am

There has to be some realization during this discussion that smoke inhalation is a serious health issue for some people. I suffer from asthma and cigarette or cigar smoke triggers an asthmatic attack for me. I personally do not feel that smokers have the right to endanger my life as well as their own. You might as well say that gun owners should be able to take target practice on some decks or on one side of the ship. As far as considerate smokers, I recently saw several of them smoking in a hot tub while drinking their beers.

Comment from Tina B
Time February 12, 2009 at 10:49 am

It is so simple.
Which is better: the smokers’ smoke or the non-smokers’ fresh air?
The casino stinks even when it is empty; but MOSTLY I noticed that the non-smoker night was NOT promoted, so non-smokers didn’t even know about it. Having just cruised the Panama Canal on the Vision of the Seas, I wanted to enjoy the beautiful Viking Crown Lounge but couldn’t breathe in there, even though it was nearly empty every time I went up there. What a shame.
If non-smoking cruises were promoted, the ships would be packed.

Comment from donna
Time February 12, 2009 at 11:02 am

I definitely would not sail on a “smoke free” ship. I have been on over 20 cruises and if it is “non smoking” forget it/. The idea of one side of the ship smoking and the other smoke free -fine as long as one can smoke in the cabin. There are so few lines allowing this that my cruising days are getting fewer and fewer. What about the loud noise makers and drunks? This it seems is a bigger problem. With the economy as it is – the lines need all the business they can get and loss revenues from smokers range from the fares to what is spent on board – come on you non smokers “lighten up”

Comment from Sam
Time February 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

I think the cruise lines should make it better for the majority of passengers. So they should gradually make their ships toatally smoke free. The last cruise I was on was the Carnival Spirit in ’06 and there didn’t seem to be too many problems with second hand smoke. The only areas I had issue with was in the Casino and the Cigar Bar outside of the entrance to the dining room. Cigar smoke was wafting outside of this area as we were waiting to be seated for dinner. I would pay extra for a totally smoke free ship. It’s a stupid habbit and with this current economy the cost is ridiculus. I wish we could breakdown the tobacco companies to stop this insiduous business of getting young people addicted.

Comment from Carole
Time February 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

I quit smoking a few months ago and my husband still smokes. I hope I’m never like many other “ex-smokers” and other non-smokers who usually are more rude than smokers. Even today, whenever we cruise and I see a non-smoker doing the “coughing, fanning, nasty looks” bit, I want to tell them to head for a non smoking area immediately.
We’d never sail on a non-smoking ship.

Comment from fudgbug
Time February 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

Charge more to non smokers????
Smokers should be charged more because it takes longer and is harder to clean a cabin after someone has smoked in one.

Smoking is not only a health issue. It is a cleanliness issue!

Comment from Ronnie
Time February 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I ONLY smoke on vacations. It is my outlet. I try not to have a cigarette in the stateroom but use the balcony for smoking. If I was not able to smoke on my own balcony and in the casino I would not cruise – pure and simple!

Comment from m b
Time February 12, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I am highly allergic to smoke (as a former smoker) my last 3 balcony cruises were ruined due to smokers. No more balconies. There should be specific smoking cabin sections designated so everyone can be accommodated. Corporate good will towards the passengers’ good health should dictate
the issue.

Comment from Mary
Time February 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Yes, husband and I both smokers. I do not smoke in front of the grand children and family/friends who are not smokers, because I choose not to.
I would not cruise on a smoke-free ship; would not cruise on the Solstice class ships because the only indoor place was totally out of the way; (found out when we got on the ship!) will cruise if one mid-ship indoor bar/lounge and outside aft and port outside are ok to smoke. Totally agree smokers can book port side; mid to aft – balcony . Agree with non smoking while dining, shows, elevators, etc. Celebrity has lost our business because of the tightened rules. Lousy habit? yes. Can I smoke and drive a car and not get DUI? yes. Are the taxes I pay with my habit benefiting the general public? yes. Are there alot worse things? Definitely yes. We live once and will all die. I also had one friend and one family die from cancer. One was a non smoker; one was a result from the agen orange problem while serving in Viet Nam. An acquaintance passed away from cancer that was inoperable in his brain, which had spread before he finally lost his battle, the death certif. said lung cancer, his wife was very upset about that being on his certificate.
I work, pay taxes, and deserve to have my tea and cig. after a meal in peace and comfort.

Comment from moe
Time February 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm

I am not a smoker. I think the idea about putting the smokers in cabins that were together and also putting the non- smokers together is a great one. If the smokers were not put in the front parts of the ship then the ship would sail away from the smoke.
I remember when smokers ran rough-shod over everyone. That was awful, but I have never been unable to enjoy any cruise because of smokers. They are typically real nice about smoking in designated areas. So many smokers I know won’t even smoke in their own homes. They actually go outside when they want to smoke.
I think a compromise has been made. If they would get a count on how many smokers were on a given cruise and they had more smokers than they normally expected then maybe they could have some extra areas that were normally smoke-free designated to smokers for that. particular cruise.

Comment from Lee
Time February 12, 2009 at 5:57 pm

My DH & I are smokers; we sail HAL exclusively (just did #15 w/#16 booked). Would most definitely stop cruising w/HAL if smoking was to be prohibited in our cabin, on our balcony, or in certain bars where it is now permitted.

We have no problem with a no-smoking policy in the dining areas, show lounge, theatre, elevators, hallways, library, or rest rooms. But when we pay our hard-earned money for a vacation, we should be able to expect to enjoy the time in our cabin as we choose (fully mindful of safety at all times, of course). And when we are paying our hard-earned money for high-priced drinks at a bar, we should be able to enjoy the atmosphere we seek. The non-smokers already have the majority of the ship to enjoy as they prefer.

On our most recent 14-day holiday cruise, there was only one bar where smoking was permitted and the area was so filled w/smokers it was sro five deep. It’s an absolute fact — smokers tend to be drinkers; they enjoy sitting at a bar, having a few drinks and a cigarette, and engaging in conversation with other pax nearby. They also have a much higher tab to pay at the end of their cruise. That’s a lot of revenue to ignore.

We are considerate & courteous smokers. And it shouldn’t be a one-way street for either side of this issue. We feel HAL’s present policy is fair to both.

Comment from Gil
Time February 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm

I’m a nonsmoker who’s wife is an ex smoker and as it has been said before, they hate to be around smoke. The only reason we started crusing was because of the smoke free Paradise. It was a joy to dance in any bar or go to the casino. The ship was even cleaner. We still cruise and Carnival does an ok job with smoking outside on one side of the ship but we miss dancing in many of the bars and hate to walk near the casino. I have noticed some of the newer ships seemed to have a better filtration system so maybe we can still get along together. Just give us another place to dance other then the kareokee lounge. (Cann’t spell either)

Comment from Gloria
Time February 12, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I don’t smoke and I never have. The person I vacation with does smoke. They need to keep smoking in the room’s and on the balcony’s. Keep it in the casino and other outside place’s on the ship. If it come’s down to no smoking at all, we will never cruise again.

Comment from Harvie
Time February 12, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I am a non-smoker. I love to walk on a deck and enjoy the sound of the waves and the smell of the Southern seas. However, it is rather seldom that I can do that. The reason is that frequently there are one or two smokers who happen to be smoking at the deck near front of the ship, and thus, I will smell the cigarett smoke instead of the smell of the sea. I guess that is because they are not allowed to smoke inside, so they have to go outside to smoke. In order to have my own space, I upgraded to a balcony for recent cruises. Unfortunately, I always have smokers who have balcony rooms before mine. Again, whenever I want to enjoy my balcony, I have to inhale the air with cigarett smoke from those smokers. So I have to retrieve to my room if I do not want to have the second hand smoke. It is quite a disappointment since I love the smell of sea and it is always one thing that I look forward to for a cruise. If one side of the ship can be designated as smoke free, it will certainly solve my problem. I hope the cruise companies will consider this policy. It seems like it will be a good compromise for both smokers and non-smokers.

Comment from Mike
Time February 13, 2009 at 10:49 am

My wife and myself are non smokers. The only problems we have on the ships are in the casinos. There are times when there is a haze in the room due to the cigarette smoke. My concerns are for my wife who has asthma. You would think the ships would have a better air exchange system in the areas they know where heavy smoking would be. A large volume HEPA system would probably work wonders.

Comment from Donna
Time February 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

We have cruised every year for over 15 years. Just what cruise line are all these considerate and courteous smokers on? Nearly all allow smoking in or near the pool or hot tubs. These smokers dont mind flicking their ashes in the pools. Do we really want to swim in ashes? How about the ashes on the floors of the bathrooms. Ask any woman how many times you get ashes around the hem of your pants or dress clothes. Its not just the smoke folks.

Comment from Kakalina
Time February 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

I sail on HAL only. I have never in 309 days onboard seen ashes in any of the ladies rooms. Ever!
Nor have I seen ashes in any of the pools. HAL doesn’t allow smoking in the main pool area at all. Nor do they allow smoking around the hot tubs. In fact, the entire part of the ship where these are located are non smoking.

Comment from diane
Time February 13, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Rita, Sorry I have been busy and just saw your reply. I will really miss the perks RCCL gave us as Diamond members and the special pricing for the Casino Royal since we gamble alot, but it is getting to hard to keep my husband happy and enjoy myself too, so we are trying some different cruise lines now. I do have to say if you are a non smoker RCCL has great activities and a very fun atmosphere. I love cruising and don’t plan to stop, but I have to make sure the whole family is happy too.

Comment from J. GaMarsh
Time February 14, 2009 at 5:09 am

Smoking is an unhealthy addiction. Non-smokers are put off by second hand smoke. Do everyone including yourselves a favor and quit.

Comment from Jim
Time February 15, 2009 at 9:03 am

I do wish there was a way we could figure out how to co-exist. While I am not a cigarette smoker, I’m a person that enjoys an occasional cigar – usually when I’m on vacation.

On an RSSC Panama Canal cruise several years ago, I’d sit in the cigar room, people from different backgrounds joining me in a cigar, solving all the problems of the world.

A software geek, a General that had served in Vietnam, an oilman from Louisiana – talking for hours, not bothering anyone.

We have gone from 2-3 cruises/year to none planned for this year – not all because of the fact there’s no where to enjoy a cigar, but because the cruising experience in general has gone so downhill…but that belongs on another blog. :-)

Comment from mahalogirl
Time February 15, 2009 at 10:04 am

I just signed up for our first cruise and a “decent” smoking policy was my first consideration. If I am going to quit smoking, I am certainly not going to do it while I’m on vacation. I try to be a considerate smoker, I don’t smoke in areas where it is not approved, I don’t EVER throw my “butts” on the ground, and I watch both my cigarette smoke and my exhalations to avoid the smoke going into anyone’s face (smoker or non-smoker). I would appreciate the same self-control from non-smokers who purposefully place themselves in a smoking area, then whine about the smoke. I would not even consider taking a cruise if smoking were banned, and would be just as happy spending my money elsewhere.

Comment from Patrick
Time February 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm

If a ship doesn’t have a cigar lounge I will not go. Thats why I only sail on holland america.

Comment from melonee Campato
Time February 15, 2009 at 11:20 pm

As an ex-smoker I too do not like to be around cigarette smoke. I think there should be designated areas where you can go to smoke on a ship. I do not believe a smoker has the right to ruin my trip by smoking on a balcony where I may have to endure his/her cigarette smoke. I say have smoking dining room, a smoking casino and how about a smoking lounge. I don’t have a problem with that but to smoke in an area where people believe they can breath clean air is unfair. I donot go to areas that are designated for smokers and I don’t believe non smokers should complain if they chose to go to those areas.

Comment from Samantha
Time February 16, 2009 at 3:34 am

My comment is addiction to money, gluttony and alcohol are social activities and are all catered for in every ship sailing the waters of the world, smoking is also a social addiction. Smokers are aware of the health risk they do live in the same world as non-smokers??? If I am at the supermarket and pass a non-smoker in their gas guzzling car spilling out fumes and I start coughing and fanning my hands you would think I am an idiot??? I want my town to be free from fumes which I believe is more important than smoking on the lido deck and having one or two areas for the smokers Just cater for their addiction as for everyone else’s. Bet you gluttony people, don’t think when you don’t finish you food on the plate at breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight buffet think of all the people in the world that haven’t eaten for days and are starving NO NO NO you are more enraged that you want a smoke free ship to your liking and make your little life easier which is far more important of course because you come first second and last. Come on you none smokers they are the easy target go and complain and get enraged about real topics such as gang warfare, wars, drug dealers, child trafficking, child labour shall I go on and on do you get the picture. Stop complaining about your very privileged life and get on will it. PS I am a not a smoker

Comment from CheriK
Time February 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

I was at a buffet the other day with a woman who spent 20 minutes complaining about how second-hand smoke was jeopardizing her health. She quit complaining long enough to go get her third dessert. Get the picture??? I will be going on a cruise on March 8, and made it a point to get a cabin at the very back of the ship so I could have a cigarette on the balcony. I will put up with a little extra motion in my room so that I can sit peacefully and have a cigarette on the balcony I paid so dearly for. And as to the current question, no, I would not sail on a ship that was smoke-free.

Comment from Craig
Time February 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I’ve been reading more and more responses and I find this conversation is becoming ridiculous. The average person commuting to work puts more toxic, cancer-casuing fumes in the air than a whole day of me smoking. Yet, there is no way I can walk to work without having to smell your disgusting car and breathing it in. Cruise lines do not exist to cater to your own utopian ideas… that is why you have a home in which YOU set the rules. The fact is that every line or ship that tried to go completely non-smoking has failed. Guess what folks, smokers spend money on the things that the cruise line most cares about… liquor and gambling. I have always been a respectful smoker. I smoke where they tell me to and nowhere else. What I will not tolerate is being told to “go smoke out by the dumpster” as a former boss of mine thought was a respectful idea.

People will never completely see eye-to-eye on this, so I don’t expect everyone to see things my way. However, if I have to eat from a buffet following your slob of a child who can’t wash his hands after using the bathroom, touches everything he can… you can live with me… If I have to listen to (borrowing the idea from CheriK above) you spend 20 minutes complaining about how second-hand smoke is jeopardizing your health as you shove your third dessert down your throat… you have to put up with me… I’ll respect your space, and you respect mine.

Comment from Peg
Time February 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I am a smoker and respect non-smoking venues. Yes, I would rebook sans a sudden change in policy and I would stop cruising altogether if all ships banned it.

A wonder if designating a certain section of a ship for smoking (meaning balconies) would help, example Smoking, non-Smoking, or Either. The Either could be for certain guaranteed cabins.

The lines could make money (?) if Smokers and Non’s paid more for choice.

Comment from Darlene
Time February 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm

We pay premium for a balcony to enjoy fresh sea air; spending most of our cruising time out there enjoying the privacy.
Why should we have to be saturated with your pipe, cigar or cigarette smoke blowing into our faces and stateroom?
Some ships have smoking and non-smoking sides; i’d like to see that extended to the staterooms, too.
If this were a policy it should be enforced!
There are many smokers who book non-smoking hotel rooms because even they can’t stand the odor of stale smoke that permeates every fabric in a room.

Comment from Amy
Time February 17, 2009 at 12:01 am

Thank you, Rita, for starting a discussion on this topic. We’ve been cruising for about 20 years, and things have been fine so far, but evidently policies are changing. I would not want to book a cruise on a non-smoking ship, and this blog has made me realize that I don’t really know the current smoking policies on the various cruise lines. Could you please summarize them? Thank you!

Comment from Dana
Time February 17, 2009 at 1:15 am

My partner and I are smokers. We do not smoke in our home or our cars.. only outside and we abide by all smoking policies everywhere we go. We don’t even smoke outside at our own home when we have non-smokers for an outdoor get together. We are that courteous…but at work, when I am having a smoke in a “designated” area NEAR THE DUMPSTER and a non-smoker walks by and makes noises and comments and “coughs” about my smoke and not the dumpster smell or car exhaust…that is just too rude!!!
So, yes there are very considerate smokers out here!
I pay a premium to have a balcony on the cruises I go on so I can have an occasional smoke with my morning coffee… in my bathrobe…on MY balcony! or a private cocktail hour and a smoke on MY BALCONY! I go scuba diving, I hike, I bike, I swim, I dance, I do morning walks and yoga and am in incredible shape compared to the obese people who never leave the ship or the buffet line and complain about smokers.
You take smoking away from my once a year vacation and no cruise line will ever get my $10,000.00 again!!!
I don’t think the cruise lines want to lose that revenue!
NCL had Starboard=smoking and Port=non-smoking and it was fine for everyone.

Comment from linda
Time February 17, 2009 at 10:26 am

no I would not cruise on any ship that was non-smoking. les it isn’t god for my health, but beating your children or your wife isn’t either. and drinking so much you can’t stand up or driving drunk. my smoke did not contaminate the lake where I live. americans talk about smoke so much but they refuse to recycle,drink and drive. I am very conciderate when and where I smoke and I live with a non smoker who is rude to smokers sometimes even though he used to smoke himself. if you want to talk about polution look at our oceans compared to oceans that we sail on these ships to see. ours is very nasty.and smoking did not do that. just about everytown has trouble with their drinking water from polution and its not from cigarette smoke.

Comment from Bev
Time February 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm

My husband smokes and I do not. For that reason we booked a balcony cabin on our last cruise. Celebrity changed it’s policy and we found out when we boarded that he could no longer smoke in the cabin or balcony. Needless to say, he was not happy. If they go totally smoke free, we will travel on another line.

Comment from mark
Time February 18, 2009 at 7:30 am

I am a smoker, but one consideration the ships have had to take is fires. Too often passengers flip their butts over the side only to have them land on the deck below. I believe a major fire was caused by this a while back. Even years ago in the navy you were not allowed to smoke in your bunk (rack) do to the hazard of falling asleep with a lit cigarette . Today, this same philosophy is practiced by not allowing smoking in cabins. Smoking policy doesn’t always dictate smoking areas.

Comment from Mary
Time February 21, 2009 at 9:58 am

My husband and I booked a suite on HAL in March of 2008 for a transatlantic crossing. Upon entering the room there was the almost distinct awareness that someone was smoking in the room. After looking around we discovered smoke filtering through the door frame of a connecting suite next to us. The room steward brought in an air purifier and taped the door frame of the door tight. We had to leave the room while purifier was in operation as safety guidelines required. This occured almost every other day and we were out of the room 1-2 hours. Since this was a cruise of 21 days and many days at sea, this was quite an inconvenience..not to mention the souring of our potential cruises if we can not be assured of a smoke free room. NEVER book a room with a connecting door. Agents should mention this to non-smokers. Marriott can assign you to smoke free areas..why can’t the cruise lines?

Comment from CheriK
Time February 21, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Marriott used to be my favorite hotel chain, but when they went completely smoke-free, I went elsewhere. I spend 40-50 nights a year out of town on business, and that’s revenue Marriott just lost. Hopefully the cruiselines will learn from the failed smoke-free policies.

Comment from Jennifer
Time March 19, 2009 at 9:11 am

I am a non smoker but believe that both groups of people can get along. Hopefully all the cruise lines will fall in line with creating smoking/non-smoking sides of the ships and creating lounges of both varieties. I have seen both courteous smokers and non smokers. I believe that we can all work together to create a holiday environment that encourages relaxation and enjoyment. I stay away from smoking environments and hope that those smoking will do so in appropriate areas. Looking forward to my next cruise!

Comment from Lyle
Time November 17, 2009 at 6:39 am

I totally understand the concerns of non-smokers. BUT, there is one very improtant point that I believe they are overlooking and it’s going to bit them in the butt some day. That is that smoking is way more than a habit, it is a chemical addiction. An addiction that is harder to quit than even street drugs. Food and being obese is not even an addiction, it is a habit and life style that effects all of us in cost and many other ways. There are many other bad things that other people do that is just too long to list here. Just remember, ones you attack one group of people that you are not, it only sets up a history of how to attack you next. My cruise days are over with these new smoking policies. And yours would be too, if they said you could not eat at the time you normaly eat.
Your day is coming soon.

Comment from Susan
Time January 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I have amoke induced asthma and have been very hesitant to travel on any cruise line because of this medical condition. Even in our RV, we have had to leave campgrounds because of campfires. Good thing I like my smokefree home.

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